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1/19/2015 MarineSoundingEquipment:Howdoessoundingwork?

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Immersion Systems
Tanks for Water, Solution, and Electrolyte Immersion. ASTM D870

Leaveacomment
SoundingtheTanksofaShip

Lufkin Oil Gauge


Tapes
English & Metric Tapes, Plumb
Bobs API / NIST Traceable
Calibration

writtenby:srirambalueditedby:KennethSleightupdated:2/12/2010

http://www.brighthubengineering.com/marineenginesmachinery/35372soundingthetanksofaship/ 1/6
1/19/2015 MarineSoundingEquipment:Howdoessoundingwork?
Wonderinghowdoshipscrewcheckthequantityofbunkerfueloil/oilcargo/ballastwaterinship'stanks?Themethod
ofmeasuringthequantityiscalled"sounding"oftanks.Let'ssoundwhat's"sounding"ofship'stanks!

SoundingofTanks
Theprocessofquantifyingthequantityofliquidpresentinsideatankiscalled"sounding".Weallareawareofstoring
waterinhead/gravitytankinourhouse.Frequentlyweensurethelevelofwaterismaintainedbycheckingthelevelin
thetank.Wefillupthewatertotherequiredlevelandstopfilling.Wecanalsosaythatwesoundthetanklevel.Inthe
sameway,ashipsfueloil(bunker)tankorcargooiltankhastobecheckedforitsincrease/decreaseofitslevelduring
theoperationoftheship/operationscarriedoutontheship.Wewilllearnhowdoessoundingworkincontextofship

tanksinthisarticleandtheuseofmarinesoundingequipment

Whyto"sound"thetanks?
Tobeclearerletustakethecaseofbunkertanks.Asweareaware,bunkertanksareusedtocarrytheentirevolume
offuelrequiredforthesafeseapassage.Whenashipsailsfromaporttoother,thefuelisgettingconsumedeveryday
andsubsequenttransferwhichhastobedonefromvariousfueloilbunkertankstoshipssettling&servicetanksfor
theuseofpropulsion.So,itisalwaysnecessarytotakesoundingofthebunkertankstoknowtheexactquantityof
thefuelavailableonboard.Alsoduringbunkeringoperation,thequantityoffueloilpumpedonboardistobe
monitoredcontinuouslysothatthebunkertankdoesnotoverflow.Ifitoverflows,itmaycauseamarinepollution,and
aspermarpol,spillageofoilintoseaisprohibited.

Soundingofcargotanks:

Shipssuchasoiltankers, PACT Marine Ballast


productcarriersandOBOs
astheycarryoil/liquidas Water
cargointheircargotanks,
soundingofthosetanks Safe, Chemical-Free Treatment for
shouldbecontinuously Your Ballast Water Management
monitoredduring
loading/discharging
needs
operations.Astankersareloadedataveryhighrate,the
levelinthetanksraisefasterandhastomonitoredsothat
thesafequantityofliquidcargoisaccommodatedinside
thecargotankandchangingoverofnextcargotankcan
bedonewithoutcargooiloverflowasitmaycause
marinepollution.

sounding&ullage...

http://www.brighthubengineering.com/marineenginesmachinery/35372soundingthetanksofaship/ 2/6
1/19/2015 MarineSoundingEquipment:Howdoessoundingwork?

Withreferencetotheabovepictorial
illustration,"Sounding"isthemeasureofdistancefromthebottomoftankuptocargolevelinthetank."ullage"isthe
distancefromthetopofthelevelofcargotothemaximumlevelortopofthecargotank.Assoundingincreases,the
ullagedecreases.asullageincreases,thesoundingdecreases.Itisusualpracticeonshipstotakeullagewhen
cargo/fueloilishighlyviscous.Ifthecargo/bunkeredoilisviscous,andif"sounding"istaken,thenthebobmayget
stickyandmaycontributefalsereadings.

Sowhatisasoundingpipe?

Ashipstankmusthaveapipeextendingfrombottomofthetanktoalevelwhichissafeto
soundthecontentsofthetank.Asoundingpipeisasimplesteelpipe,whichisopenat
thebottomsothattheliquidinthetankgetsfilleduptothesamelevelasinthetank.Asthe
levelinthetankrises,theliquidlevelinthesoundingpipealsoincreases,thusupon
takingsounding,thequantityofliquidcanbeknown.

cargosoundingtable

Withinthesoundingpipe,asteelflexiblemeasuringtape,withabobattachedattheendis
loweredtillitstrikesthebottomofthetank.Whenitstrikesthebottomofthetank,thelevel
ofliquidinthetank,makesanimpressiononthesoundingtapesothatifwecoilupthe
tape,theimpressionofcontentofthetankisseenandthereadingsarenoted.Thenoted
readingindicatestheheightoftheliquidinthetank.Soundingtableisavailableonboard
whichiscalibratedinconsiderationwiththeshapeofthetank,andtrimoftheship.The
volumeofliquidinthetankiscalculatedfromthesoundingtable.

Soundingofshipsballasttanks:

Shipsballasttankscontainsseawater.Itisdifficulttotracetheimpressionofwateronthesteeltapewhensounding
theballastwatertanks.Awaterfindingpastecanbeusedtoidentifytheimpressionofthelevelofwaterpresentin
thetank.

Methodtotakesoundingoftheballastwatertank:

1. Applythewaterfindingpasteontothesoundingtapeintheareaofestimateddepth.
2. Dropthesoundingtapeinsidethesoundingpipe.
3. Ensurethebobstrikesthestrikerplateatthebottomofthetank.
4. Coilupthetapelookingupfortheimpression.
5. Thelevelisseenaschangeincolorofthepaste.Presenceofwaterwillturnthepastecolortopinkfromlight
orange.

Othergaugingmethods:
Automatic/Remotesounding/gaugingequipments:

Certaincargoscarriedonboardaretoxicandhazardous.Soundingoftanksisdangerous.Automation&
Instrumentationareusedtomeasurethelevelofliquidinthetanks.

Thosemaybe

http://www.brighthubengineering.com/marineenginesmachinery/35372soundingthetanksofaship/ 3/6
1/19/2015 MarineSoundingEquipment:Howdoessoundingwork?
1. mechanicallyoperatedfloatgauges
2. electricallypoweredservooperatedgauges
3. electricalcapacitancegauges
4. bubblergauges
5. differentialpressuregauges
6. pneumatic/hydraulicgauges
7. sonicgauges
8. radioactivemethods

Theabovedifferenttypesofsoundingtechniquescanbeseeninfurtherarticles.

U.S.C.G
AUnitedStatesCoastGuardagentcheckingthesounding/samplingthewaterballasttank.source:www.uscg.mil

Integrating Spheres
Components/Systems for
calibration, light measurement,
remote sensing

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